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[ek-ster-peyt, ik-stur-peyt] /ˈɛk stərˌpeɪt, ɪkˈstɜr peɪt/
verb (used with object), extirpated, extirpating.
to remove or destroy totally; do away with; exterminate.
to pull up by or as if by the roots; root up:
to extirpate an unwanted hair.
Origin of extirpate
1530-40; < Latin ex(s)tirpātus plucked up by the stem (past participle of ex(s)tirpāre), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + stirp- (stem of stirps) stem + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
extirpation, noun
extirpative, adjective
extirpator, noun
unextirpated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for extirpate
Historical Examples
  • Without irreparable injury to ourselves we cannot attempt to eradicate it or extirpate it.

    The Pivot of Civilization Margaret Sanger
  • Many causes have combined to extirpate the shy and spirited fish.

    Angling Sketches Andrew Lang
  • He had become a wild beast, whom it was honourable to hunt down, a pest which it was righteous to extirpate.

  • The gentry want to extirpate us by means of poison, we will extirpate them with fire and sword.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • As a good son of the Church I am bound to extirpate that most pernicious root of heresy from all German lands.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • We demoralize and we extirpate, but we never really civilize.

    The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russell Wallace
  • Is it you, holy men, who have come to extirpate heresy in Albigeois?

    The Iron Pincers Eugne Sue
  • Fire, avalanches, famine, and disease all did their best to extirpate the brotherhood.

    Tyrol and its People Clive Holland
  • Before the arrival of Alva, ‘Philip's commands to Margaret were imperative, to use her utmost efforts to extirpate the heretics.’

  • What will be a wholesome remedy to extirpate the pest of these witches.

British Dictionary definitions for extirpate


verb (transitive)
to remove or destroy completely
to pull up or out; uproot
to remove (an organ or part) surgically
Derived Forms
extirpation, noun
extirpative, adjective
extirpator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exstirpāre to root out, from stirps root, stock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extirpate

1530s, usually figurative, from Latin extirpatus/exstirpatus, past participle of extirpare/exstirpare (see extirpation). Related: Extirpated; extirpating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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